Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/14/14

VANCOUVER, CANADA - DECEMBER 2: Tyler Bouck #21 of the Vancouver Canucks looks at teammate Rick Rypien #15 on the bench during their NHL game against the Colorado Avalanche at General Motors Place on December 2, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Canucks defeated the Avalanche 2-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Miss You Ryp! In the depths of my worst NHL hockey withdrawals I think back to a happier time when players dashed and skates flashed, and a good portion of my memories involve Rick Rypien. Of all the Vancouver NHL’ers to leave a mark over the years Rypien’s determination on and off the ice resonates with me more than any other player. It isn’t about the goals, assists, or penalty minutes. It’s not even about the fights that stand out so vividly in my mind. It’s about the battle, day after day, shift after shift that Rypien endured during his career as a Canuck. Following his tragic death the details of his fight with clinical depression only further emphasized his determination during the fight both on and off the ice, making every memory that much more impactful. While battling his own personal demons off the ice Rypien jumped at the opportunity to defend his teammates on it, a realization that remains with me to this day. Rypien’s legacy lives on… My greatest memories of Rick Rypien are ultimately trumped by the most tragic of them all; however it is his on-ice glory that I think back to during days of lockout despair. Rypien’s epic tussles with Zack Stortini, Brad May, Boris Valabik and Hal Gill remain fond memories, but it was him standing up to fellow troubled enforcer Derek Boogaard that remains most clear in my mind’s eye. The two didn’t fight, but there was a moment during one particular division battle that I will never forget: David turned towards Goliath and gave him a shove that said he was ready to do battle, if only with a slingshot, and Boogaard looked back in shock as if too accustomed to acting as the instigator. In a glorious act of courage Rypien had entrenched himself as Vancouver’s invincible enforcer to thousands of fans, yet little we know fans were cheering him down a path of turmoil and ultimate tragedy. In reflection it seems as no surprise my strongest memory of Rypien also involves Derek Boogaard. The two will be connected forever in tragedy; however their lives have had a positive effect for future generations of hockey players. Boogaard’s passing has begun a discussion about hockey-related trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) and today Rypien’s legacy lives on through the efforts of Mindcheck.ca, a website dedicated to assist those struggling with mental health issues. While a game of NHL hockey hasn’t been played in months, Rick Rypien’s life continues to have a positive effect, helping others just as he did, and thankfully that’s something you can’t lock out. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT! http://youtu.be/GHX9rOEJnVs
1 Comment:
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Decision on Ray Rice's appeal could come Wednesday

Jaguars coach calls out Blake Bortles: ‘We expect more’

Report: Jets prevented Ryan from talking about dad's health

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kobe Bryant on 3-11 Lakers: 'We're not a 3-11 team'

Matt Ryan defends beleaguered Falcons head coach Mike Smith

Bill Belichick on similarities between Brady, Rodgers: No. 12

Devon Still accused of not paying child support

Giants reportedly in talks with Max Scherzer, Chase Headley

Report: Robert Griffin III benched by Redskins for McCoy

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Golden State Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Top storyline for each Week 13 NFL game

Floyd Mayweather throws shade at Manny Pacquiao on Instagram

10 greatest Thanksgiving Day games in NFL history

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

Alabama DL trolls Auburn with Instagram photo

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.